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For HCPs

Letairis (ambrisentan) is a prescription medicine to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO Group 1) in patients with WHO Class II or III symptoms. PAH is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

Last updated: August 2017
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In this issue:

Ambassador’s Corner

Michelle, our More to My Story Ambassador, discusses healthy eating with PAH

Spotlight
 

Eating for your health

Recipe Roundup

Mediterranean grilled salmon

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What is Letairis?

Letairis is a prescription medicine used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

  • Letairis can improve your ability to exercise and it can help slow down the worsening of your physical condition and symptoms
  • When taken with tadalafil, Letairis is used to reduce the risks of your disease progressing and hospitalization due to worsening PAH, and to improve your ability to exercise
 
Spotlight

Eating for your health

For people with PAH, fluid retention can be a common occurrence. Too much fluid in your body may put additional strain on your heart and should be avoided. Two of the main culprits in fluid retention? Salt and sodium. You should try to limit both salt and sodium (yep, they’re two different things) in your diet to no more than 1,500 mg per day.* Here are some tips:

  • Know the difference between salt and sodium. The words “salt” and “sodium” are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. Salt (also known by its chemical name, sodium chloride) is a crystal-like compound that is abundant in nature and is used to flavor and preserve food. Sodium is a mineral and one of the chemical elements found in salt.
  • Read the label. Most of the salt we consume comes in packaged and processed foods. So be sure to read the labels and note how much salt is in each serving. Don’t be fooled into thinking that 1 can=1 serving. Read the label and do the math.

    green bean can

  • Drop the shaker. Switch from table salt to a no-salt-added seasoning or low-sodium versions of other flavorings, and use these in moderation.
  • Avoid certain foods. Some foods to watch out for include pickles, smoked meats and cold cuts, canned soups and broths, and condiments like ketchup, soy sauce, and relish. Reduced-sodium versions may be available. Be sure to compare the labels to be sure.
  • Add flavor, not salt. Try fresh herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and peppers to add liveliness to recipes without adding salt.
  • Choose fresh. Whenever possible, choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables over canned. Why? Canned foods contain preservatives loaded with sodium to keep them shelf-stable, or fresh.
  • Make smart choices when eating out. When dining at restaurants, ask for low-sodium recommendations or let the chef know you need your meal cooked without added salt. Most restaurants will accommodate your request.

Be sure to talk to your PAH Specialist about your diet. Bon appetit!

 




“One of the things I do when I grocery shop is I shop on the outer edge of the store. Not in the aisles, because the outer edge is where all the fresh foods are.”

Speak out

What’s your favorite summertime food?


Salmon on the grill. A fruity sorbet. Fresh watermelon. Everybody has a favorite food that just says “summer.” Tell us your go-to summertime indulgence by selecting from this list.

 


Thanks for your response!


Be sure to check the next issue of the More to My Story newsletter for survey results.

Recipe Roundup

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 salmon fillets, each 5 ounces
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 green olives, chopped
  • 4 thin slices lemon
 
Recipe
Roundup

Mediterranean Grilled Salmon

Summertime is grilling time. Even people following a low-sodium diet can enjoy the smoky flavors of the BBQ. Instead of the usual burgers, mix it up a little with this easy and delicious salmon recipe. One 5 oz fillet has approximately 105 mg of sodium.

Directions

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

In a small bowl, combine the basil, parsley, minced garlic, and lemon juice.  Spray the fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Top each fillet with equal amounts of the basil-garlic mixture.

Place the fish herb-side down on the grill. Grill over high heat. When the edges turn white, after about 3 to 4 minutes, turn the fish over and place on aluminum foil. Move the fish to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat. Grill until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish reads 145°F (about 4 minutes longer).

Remove the salmon and place on warmed plates. Garnish with green olives and lemon slices.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size: 1 fillet (about 4 ounces cooked)
  • Calories 214
  • Total fat 10 g
  • Saturated fat 1 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Cholesterol 78 mg
  • Sodium 143 mg
  • Total carbohydrates 3 g
  • Dietary fiber 1 g
  • Total sugars 0.5 g
  • Added sugars 0 g
  • Protein 28 g

*http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp#.WDXUbZMrL9A
https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm315393.htm
‡From the Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/mediterraneanstyle-grilled-salmon/rcp-20049781

©2017 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. LETC0285 08/17

Letairis and the Letairis logo, Gilead and the Gilead logo, More to My Story and the More to My Story logo, GileadSolutions and LabSync are registered trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.

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Learn more about Letairis + tadalafil combination therapy

Is Letairis right for you?


Letairis + tadalafil may help improve your ability to exercise, reduce the risk of your PAH getting worse, and reduce your risk of hospitalizations due to PAH. Get more details about Letairis.


Letairis discussion guide to start the conversation with your doctor

Ready to talk to your doctor about Letairis?

Find out if Letairis may be appropriate for you. Use this Doctor Discussion Guide to start the conversation with your PAH Specialist.

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Important Safety Information and Indication

What is the most important information I should know about Letairis?

Letairis can cause serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy.

  • Females must not be pregnant when they start taking Letairis or become pregnant while taking Letairis
  • Females who are able to get pregnant must have a negative pregnancy test before starting Letairis, every month while taking Letairis, and 1 month after stopping Letairis. Your doctor will decide when to do the tests, and order the tests for you depending on your menstrual cycle
    • Females who are able to get pregnant are females who have entered puberty (even if they have not started their period), and have a uterus, and have not gone through menopause (menopause means that you have not had a period for at least 12 months for natural reasons, or that you have had your ovaries removed)

Females who are able to get pregnant must use two acceptable forms of birth control while taking Letairis and for 1 month after stopping Letairis because the medicine may still be in the body. See the Letairis Medication Guide for acceptable birth control options.

  • If you have had a tubal sterilization or have an IUD (intrauterine device) or progesterone implant, these methods can be used alone and no other form of birth control is needed
  • Talk with your doctor to find out about options for acceptable forms of birth control that you may use to prevent pregnancy during treatment with Letairis
  • If you decide that you want to change the form of birth control, talk with your doctor to be sure that you choose another acceptable form of birth control
  • Do not have unprotected sex. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have unprotected sex or if you think your birth control has failed. Your doctor may tell you to use emergency birth control
  • Tell your doctor right away if you miss a menstrual period or think you may be pregnant

If you are the parent or caregiver of a female child who started taking Letairis before reaching puberty, you should check your child regularly to see if she is developing signs of puberty. Tell your doctor right away if you notice that she is developing breast buds or any pubic hair. Your child may reach puberty before having her first menstrual period.

Females can only receive Letairis through a restricted program called the Letairis Risk Evaluation and Mitigation (REMS) program. If you are a female who can get pregnant, you must talk to your doctor, understand the benefits and risks of Letairis, and agree to all of the instructions in the Letairis REMS program.

Who should not take Letairis?

Do not take Letairis if:

  • You are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or become pregnant while taking Letairis. Letairis can cause serious birth defects. (See "What is the most important information I should know about Letairis?")
  • You have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

What should I avoid while taking Letairis?

  • Do not get pregnant. If you miss a menstrual period, or think you might be pregnant, call your doctor right away
  • Do not breastfeed. It is not known if Letairis passes into your breast milk

What are the other possible side effects of Letairis?

Serious side effects of Letairis can include:

  • Swelling all over the body (fluid retention) can happen within weeks after starting Letairis. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual weight gain, tiredness, or trouble breathing while taking Letairis. These may be symptoms of a serious health problem. You may need to be treated with medicine or need to go to the hospital
  • Decreased sperm counts have happened in some men taking a medicine that is like Letairis, which may affect your ability to father a child. Tell your doctor if being able to have children is important to you
  • Low red blood cell levels (anemia) can happen during the first weeks after starting Letairis. If this happens, you may need a blood transfusion. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your red blood cells before starting Letairis. Your doctor may also do these tests while you are taking Letairis

The most common side effects of Letairis are swelling of hands, legs, ankles and feet (peripheral edema), stuffy nose (nasal congestion), inflamed nasal passages (sinusitis), hot flashes or getting red in the face (flushing). Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

The most common side effects of Letairis when taken with tadalafil are swelling of hands, legs, ankles and feet (peripheral edema), headache, stuffy nose (nasal congestion), cough, low red blood cell levels (anemia), indigestion (dyspepsia) or upper respiratory tract infection (bronchitis).

Some medicines that are like Letairis can cause liver problems. Tell your doctor if you get any of these symptoms while taking Letairis: loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, fever, achiness, generally do not feel well, pain in the upper right stomach (abdominal) area, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark urine, itching.

What should I tell my doctor before taking Letairis?

  • All your medical conditions. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a low red blood cell level (anemia) or liver problems
  • All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Letairis and other medicines may affect each other causing side effects. Do not start any new medicines until you check with your doctor
  • Especially tell your doctor if you take cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune). Your doctor may need to change your dose of Letairis

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Letairis (ambrisentan) is a prescription medicine to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO Group 1) in patients with WHO Class II or III symptoms. PAH is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide, with important warnings.